Berks

Community comes together for Backyard Brawl 2017

'They can't believe it's a high school game'

VIDEO: Backyard Brawl in Reading

READING, Pa. - Last one who leaves the house to enter the backyard, please turn off the lights.

"It's just the best football game of the season, until you get into the playoffs," said Jane Bitner, a Wyomissing substitute teacher.

It seems like everybody and their mother, father, and grandmother went to this football game.

"We have grandparents here. We have little ones here. We have infants here. We got youth programs here. We have everyone," explained Michele Mace, a Berks Catholic fan.

"We always consider us a family, and ever since I was younger, my brother always played football, and ever since I was in sixth grade, we always came to the games," shared Anna Reedy, a Berks Catholic junior.

And like any great family affair, there's quite a spread.

"They got chicken. They got anything you want, spaghetti, pizza, the whole bit," explained Berks Catholic fan Bill Hess.

After all, Wyomissing and Berks Catholic fans have worked up quite an appetite leading up to the game at Berks Catholic.

"We take it so seriously all the time. Like the whole week everyone was like, 'Backyard Brawl, Backyard Brawl,'" Reedy said.

This game is so important, it's as if the players transform before fans's eyes.

"I love seeing the kids. I didn't even recognize them, and I know all these kids," said Bitner.

With some players on opposing sides sharing neighborhoods, what has the week been like?

"Most of them are still friends as early as this morning. There's still some trash-talking back and forth, but all in all, off the field, they are still friends," said Jen Wawrzyniak, a mother of a Wyomissing player.

For young and old in the community, this is more than just a football game. It's a chance to come together.

"People are amazed," said Hess. "They can't believe it's a high school game."


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